ROI’s Into the Corner Office Podcast: Powerhouse Middle Market CEOs Telling it Real—Unexpected Career Conversations-logo

ROI’s Into the Corner Office Podcast: Powerhouse Middle Market CEOs Telling it Real—Unexpected Career Conversations

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Joan Maxwell, President, Regulator Marine

Joan Maxwell grew up in rural Fairfield, NC. She graduated from Mattamuskeet High School and the University of North Carolina, where she received a BA in history. She is married to Owen Maxwell and together they currently reside in Edenton, NC. In 1988, Joan and Owen founded Regulator Marine in an abandoned A&P Grocery Store in Edenton. Regulator is now operating in an 121,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility and is one of the most well-respected brands in the boating industry. Joan and her...


Gilbert Hernandez, Executive Director, San Antonio Youth for Christ

Gilbert was born in San Antonio, Texas to an alcoholic mother and a drug-addicted father, but God had a plan. Through a journey of hope and miracles God made a way. He graduated from South San West Campus. He then attended International Bible College where he graduated in 1996 and completed his Master’s in Theology. Gilbert has been in ministry since the age of fourteen and became a Youth Pastor at the age of eighteen. Gilbert always had a passion to impact young people with the life...


Avi Kahn, President and CEO, Hilti North America

Avi Kahn leads Hilti North America’s operations as president and chief executive officer, overseeing businesses in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Guam. Prior to this role, he served as president of Hilti Canada. Kahn holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, Information Technology from The Interdisciplinary Center and a Master of Business Administration, International Business from Bellevue University. He joined Hilti in 2004 as a territory sales representative for...


Lafe Bailey, Co-CEO, the Wenger Group

Lafe Bailey is Co-CEO of the Wenger Group and is President of the Sales and Business Development division at Wenger. Lafe has been with the family firm for 30 years, and this tenure has allowed him a unique perspective on the industries which they serve, as well as transnational business and cycles of innovation. A perennial student of leadership, innovation and faith topics, Lafe consumes more than 60 books annually and several decades of these efforts have brought Mr. Bailey to the...


Peter Demos, President and CEO, Demos Restaurants

Peter Demos is currently President and Attorney for Demos' Brands of Restaurants which includes Demos’ Restaurant, Peter D’s Catering, and PDK Southern Kitchen and Pantry. He is also President of D’s Seas Seasonings, a retail and food service product; President of SteakTech LLC, a technology resell company; President Demos Ventures LLC, Demos Enterprises LLC, a real estate company; and is the Past President of Toot’s Restaurant and Toot’s Franchising Inc. Peter speaks to restaurant groups,...


Sean Dunn, Founder and President, Groundwire

Sean Dunn loves Jesus with all his heart and has been serving him in full-time ministry for the past 32 years. As the founder and President of Groundwire, Sean has combined his calling as an evangelist with his gifting as an innovative entrepreneur. He is focused on creatively and effectively communicating God’s Word, Love, and Purpose to every student. Through his leadership, Groundwire has grown to one of the most influential and efficient evangelistic outreaches in the US seeing tens of...


David Peacock, President, Hytrol Conveyor Company

David is the President of Hytrol Conveyor Company and a member of the Board of Directors. He began his career at Hytrol as the Executive Vice President in 2014 and assumed the Hytrol presidency in 2015. He has led the company to back-to-back record years while implementing strategies to move Hytrol into the future, and was appointed to the Board of Directors in mid-2018. David has an extensive leadership background which prepared him for success at Hytrol, including serving in the United...


John Murdock, CEO, Centage

John is an accomplished technology executive with over 20 years' experience in global software and services organizations. He’s excited to see Centage lead the Intelligent Planning revolution with a cloud-based software platform that enables finance teams at small and medium sized businesses to streamline their entire planning process and make faster, more confident decisions. John was the Chief Revenue Officer at Centage for three years and is passionate about delivering an amazing...


Ganesh Natarajan, Founder and CEO, Mindcrest

Ganesh co-founded Mindcrest in 2001 with the belief that innovation and technology would transform the legal services industry. Since then, he has fostered the growth of Mindcrest from its inception to the industry leader it is now, serving Fortune 500 corporations and major law firms. As Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Mindcrest, Ganesh is a pioneer in the legal services industry. Ganesh started his legal career as an associate and then became a partner at Gardner, Carton &...


George Greene, President and COO, Water Mission

George Greene is President and COO for Water Mission (WM) in Charleston, South Carolina. WM is a nonprofit Christian engineering ministry providing sustainable safe water solutions, through a Christian world view perspective, to people in developing countries and disasters. WM approaches all work with a sense of urgency and a commitment to excellence. The ministry’s faith and belief in the sanctity of life compel its staff to develop and implement the best technologies and community...


Alex Willis, CEO, Leadership Surge

Alex Willis understands the trade industry’s underlying challenges in profitability, performance, labor and productivity and how it has the potential to derail growth. As the CEO of Leadership Surge, Willis provides a leadership development program that trains employees in the trade industry to become frontline leaders, helping push companies forward through future challenges. As Willis competed as a walk-on player for the Florida Gators at the University of Florida and member of the 1996...


John Ruhlin, Founder and CEO, Giftology

John Ruhlin is the world’s leading authority in maximizing customer loyalty through radical generosity. He is the founder and author of Giftology and has been featured in Fox News, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc and New York Times. While becoming the #1 performer out of 1.5 million sales reps for one of the world’s most recognizable brands, John developed a system of using generosity to gain access to elite clients and generate thousands of referrals. He and his firm now help automate this...


Ron Shroder, CEO, Frontier Technology Inc.

Mr. Shroder is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Frontier Technology Inc. (FTI) which is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio. He has over 35 years of diversified technical and management experience in DoD, Commercial, and other Federal markets. The majority of his time has been working for two small businesses, each having grown significantly during his tenure. The businesses have consistently been focused on providing Research and Development /...


Gary Archer, President & CEO, Let's Play Sports

Gary has only had 4 jobs in his lifetime. A job doing grunt work for a cabinet maker for 3 months, a tour guide in Costa Rica for 9 months, a cashier at K-mart for 1 year and an indoor soccer employee for 28 years. Let's Play Sports owns and operates indoor soccer facilities across the United States, with 24 locations in 10 different States. The company has grown from a single location in 1986 earning less than $300,000 per year and employing 20 people to over $15 million in 2019 employing...


Diane Batayeh, CEO, Village Green Holdings

Diane Batayeh is the Chief Executive Officer of Village Green Holding LLC. She is directly responsible for the oversight of all of Village Green Holdings’ Operating Companies. She plays an integral role in the development and implementation of the Village Green Holdings business plans and strategic initiatives.


Vernon Steiner, CEO, California State Fund Insurance

Vernon Steiner was appointed President and CEO of State Fund on June 9, 2014. Vern has nearly 30 years of insurance industry experience, the majority in workers’ compensation. As the President and CEO, he reports directly to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the day-to-day operations at State Fund.


Jeffrey Stark, Founder & Chairman, Senneca Holdings

Jeffrey is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Senneca Holdings. He served as the CEO of Senneca Holdings and its’ portfolio companies (Eliason Door, Chase Door, etc.) for ten years before being elevated to the Chairman role. In his current role, he works with the executive Team to identify, acquire and integrate operating companies within Senneca.


Arman Sadeghi, CEO, Titanium Marketing

Arman Sadeghi is a published author, keynote speaker, entrepreneur and philanthropist. As the author of The Business Bible, CEO of 6 companies, a business coach, motivational speaker, husband and father, he enjoys working hard to help everyone around him reach their full potential. His passion is to educate executives and to help companies thrive. Arman is passionate about changing people’s lives for the better and helping CEOs organize and develop their business environment. When he is not...


Ignacio Garcia-Menocal & Francesco Balli, Co-CEOs, Grove Bay Hospitality Group

Francesco and Ignacio co-founded Grove Bay Hospitality Group and both is currently its’ Co-CEOs. The group has successfully launched an array of chef driven restaurants in partnership with celebrity chefs such as Jeremy Ford, Marcus Saumelsson, Jeff McInnis, Janine Booth and Giorgio Rapicavoli. Currently, the company owns and operates 9 different restaurants in Miami, and is bracing to launch five more, by the end of 2020. Grove Bay Hospitality Group was recognized by Restaurant Hospitality...


Paul Macaluso, CEO, The Krystal Company

Paul Macaluso a 25-year restaurant industry veteran, currently serves as the President and CEO of Krystal. Paul’s background includes experience in operations, franchising, marketing and brand strategy with some of the most prominent brands in the foodservice industry, including Taco Bell, Burger King, Sonic Drive-Ins and Moe’s Southwest Grill. Before joining Krystal in April 2018, Paul was the President of McAlister’s Deli, where he led the brand to records in new restaurant openings,...